Trivium Pursuit

How would you answer this?

My son currently attends a private Christian school. I, the mother, currently attend graduate school. I work at his school two days a week which covers his tuition (the other three days are at the university where I have a graduate assistantship which covers my tuition). Homeschooling was always of interest to me, and I did teach him to read (and he loves it), but I am a high strung, type A personality or DC (by the DISC program) expecting perfection (what was expected of me) and I find it extremely difficult with the one-on-one (he is an only child) and I find myself sometimes pushing him to frustration which is wrong so I therefore find it “ok” that he is in this school where I cannot frustrate him. We are very blessed with the different tuition arrangements that the Lord has provided but I personally am at a crossroads, wondering if my pursuit of education is a disservice to him. I feel that we are sometimes riding the fence and how do we convince one another (spouse and child) that we should do something different? I am not sure what my question is. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. J. W., Atlanta, GA

One Response to “How would you answer this?”

  1. Joshua Loyd Says:

    GA,

    You’re questions are good ones and deserve a gracious and measured biblical response. I would first address the question of whether you are doing your child a disservice in your current choices. In the Bible, God calls parents to train their children up in His Word, and to do this in the course of their days (ie. as you sit, walk, lie down, rise – Deut. 6:7). While this duty falls first on the father as the head of the house (Ephesians 6:4) the daily teaching will usually fall to the mother as his helpmeet whose primary place of dominion is the home(Prov. 31, Prov. 6:20). The pursuit of education is a good one, provided that education is in line with the duties given to you in the Word of God; however, if the education you are pursuing is drawing you away from the commands of scripture then that pursuit is not God-honoring and will not bear the fruit of righteousness in your life or your son’s. Have you considered that educating your child forces an education on yourself that is broad in scope and honoring to God? Your discomfort in teaching your own child suggests that an education in that arena is needed, not just in terms of academics but primarily in terms of your method of teaching.

    If you are unable to teach your child because of personality differences, I would suggest that your personality is an area that needs biblical education and reform. Provoking your child to wrath, as you have struggled with (a common struggle for most of us when we start teaching our children), is a sin that we must deal with biblically (by repentance and faith). I would caution you against declaring sin to be ‘simply’ a personality issue rather than what it is (abiding sins are a struggle for every Christian, though the particular sins will vary person to person). If you do not seek Christ’s salvation from this sin (provocation to wrath for lack of a better name), but instead hide from it by handing your child’s education to another, then how will you suddenly bypass said sin when you seek to teach your child the Gospel? If, however, you deal with your sin before Christ (repent, believe, search His Word, and walk by his Spirit) then your son will see the Gospel lived out in a way that is powerful and lively.

    The final issue you raise is how to convince your husband and child of a change of course. As regards your husband, this will vary depending on where he is coming from; however, you must be careful to proceed biblically. Many a wife has discovered God’s instructions concerning the education of their children and proceeded to lead/manhandle their husbands into following them in their new-found convictions. Present your concerns and biblical understanding with gentleness and meekness. Ultimately it is your husband’s decision in how your family should proceed (and his responsibility if that direction is not in Christ). Peter declares that by Godly submission a wife may win her husband to the truth of Christ (1 Peter 3:1). Concerning your son, if he has been raised to obey his parents and honor the Word of God then this should not be an issue. If, however, he has been taught that he does not have to submit to you (the God placed authority in his life) then there is a much deeper issue here than who teaches him mathematics. His heart does not belong to you, his parents, but likely belongs to his friends and the world. It is critical that you and your husband (the father must lead in this or your child will not likely me won to righteousness) establish your biblical authority in the home, and regain your son’s heart (Prov. 3:1). You must first (again I speak of you and your husband) come to your son in repentance (for failing to train and discipline him in obedience to Christ) and with a Biblical explanation of your future course. Regaining your son’s heart is more important than any of the education he may currently be receiving. May God give you grace as you proceed!

    Joshua Loyd
    Bryan, TX

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